Situated in an defunct arms manufacturing facility in Saint-Etienne, the recently unveiled Cité du Design is a stunning international center for design. Designed by LIN, the project completely renovated the historic complex and integrated a new facility made out of triangular scaffolding. Powered by solar energy and supplemented by an efficient heating system, the energy efficient Cité du Design is a world class design center that lives up to its name.
Designed by Berlin and Paris based LIN, the €41.5 million Cité du Design just opened at the beginning of October. Inside the complex are auditoriums, meeting rooms, exhibition space, a media library, and indoor gardens with an observation tower located alongside the long hall. A latticed 3D structure forms the walls and roof of the complex, and the interior of the hall is left open without any supports or beams to get in the way.
The center is very energy efficient and utilizes a heat exchange and recovery system to reduce energy used for heating. Pre-conditioned air from the internal gardens, which are not heated, is drawn into the system to heat the nearby rooms. The skin of the building is composed up of 14,000 equilateral triangles made from different materials that help to control light, temperature and air flow according to environmental conditions. Some of these triangles are actually photovoltaic cells used to generate power for use in the building.